Author Archives: Vicki

Fourth Wall at Stuttgarter Filmwinter

Our Hallwalls commissioned movie Fourth Wall is in the 35. Stuttgarter Filmwinter International Short Films Competition.

Fourth Wall
United Kingdom 2020, 15:11 Min.
Regie: Vicki Bennett

#Fourth Wall# is a new site specific wide screen movie and reflects upon the illusion of separateness. The title addresses the experience of illusory duality constructed by the mind, which is replicated through the lens of the camera, the stage, and the surface of the page, movie or computer screen. Through the viewing, cutting and editing of hundreds of pre-existing movies, Vicki searches for multiple and parallel narratives and collages these together to create a flowing stream of consciousness, attempting to breakdown this wall and reveal what she perceives as a greater reality and oneness beyond relativity.

Radio Art Zone – New 22 Hour Radio Piece

On air from 18th June — 25th September 2022

People Like Us is currently making a brand new 22 HOUR radio piece for Radio Art Zone, a radio art project by Radio ARA and Mobile Radio for the European Capital of Culture Esch2022

People Like Us – 108
In Buddhism, according to Bhante Gunaratana this number is reached by multiplying the senses smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, and consciousness by whether they are painful, pleasant or neutral, and then again by whether these are internally generated or externally occurring, and yet again by past, present and future, finally we get 108 feelings. 6 × 3 × 2 × 3 = 108. 

Imagine a radio that sounds different every day…
Radio Art Zone is a 100-day radio art station for Esch2022, which will be broadcast in the south of Luxembourg by Radio ARA on 87.8 FM. It will also be live-streamed for a
worldwide audience and transmitted by a network of international partners.

MIND MAPS: The Art of Vicki Bennett – solo exhibition

Sheehan Gallery, Walla Walla, USA
February 1 – April 8, 2022 

https://www.whitman.edu/sheehan/Sheehan_Season21-22.html details published soon

This solo exhibition of Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us) follows a 30 year journey into immersive media, covering music, radio, text-based art and moving image.  Showcasing hundreds of hours of audiovisual collage, both solo and with collaborators.

To coincide with the exhibition is a visit from the artist with a series of screenings, artist presentations and radio collaborations in March 2022 on site.

Somerset House Interview: Opening Doors

This accompanies the artist talk that Vicki gave at Somerset Studios in London in October.

Vicki Bennett explores the processes of making audiovisual content, working with archives and found footage. Using collage as a compositional tool opens up endless opportunities to create and experience results that are more than the sum of their parts, opening doors (and windows) to let light in and move beyond limited and repetitive ways of creative thinking. 

In this Somerset House Studios podcast, we revisit Vicki Bennett’s talk as part of The Wire magazine’s Music By Any Means series, which was part of Grounding Practice, a rolling programme shaped by and for creative practitioners and critical thinkers.

Part of The Wire: Music By Any Means.
Grounding Practice / Somerset House Studios
Audio produced by Weyland Mckenzie-Witter as part of The Creator in Residence Programme at Somerset House, supported by The Rothschild Foundation.

People Like Us fill in for Ken on WFMU

DO or DIY with People Like Us will fill in for Station Manager Ken on WFMU on 22nd December 2021. NY time 9am to Noon, that’s 2pm to 5pm UK Time. Listen live locally on the radio in the tri-state area of NY, or online at WFMU.org

Follow our live accuplaylist and comments while the show is on.

https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/110561

Review of Gone, Gone Beyond in The Wire Magazine

We have a full page review of Gone, Gone Beyond in the January 2022 edition of The Wire Magazine, a very nice write up by Louise Gray. We also had at three mentions from Wire writers in their “best of” summaries of 2021.

Review of Gone, Gone Beyond at Barbican by Louise Gray in The Wire January 2022

Review in scenekunst.no of Gone, Gone Beyond in OSLO

http://www.scenekunst.no/sak/psykedelisk-meditasjon/
KRITIKK 15.10.2021 Mariken Lauvstad
KinoKammer
Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) / Lasse Marhaug:
Gone, Gone Beyond + For My Abandoned Left Eye
Black Box Teater / nyMusikk / Double premieres October 13, 2021

Review as pdf

The art event Kinokammer consists of two works made by noise artist Lasse Marhaug and the British video artist Vicki Bennett, better known under the artist name ‘People Like Us’. Both works are world premieres and are shown as a collaboration between Black Box theater and nyMusikk. CineChamber is a cross-genre format based on a concept developed by San Francisco-based Recombinant Media Labs, called CineChamber . The format frames the audience in a 360-degree moving audio and video landscape.

At the Black Box theater, Kinokammer is a so-called double ticket . First Marhaug’s work For My Abandoned Left Eye (2021) and then Bennett’s Gone, Gone Beyond (2021). The public can bring the wine glasses from the foyer into the exhibition hall. Rows of chairs are set up along three of the room’s four walls, while scattered seat cushions are placed on the floor. Thus, the audience will consider other spectators’ eyes and reactions as part of the art experience. Before the screening of Marhaug’s work really begins, an atmosphere is established where small talk and wine drinking are buzzed in the room for several minutes. Whether this is intentional or not, it creates a kind of ‘we’ in the room, an experience of sharing something. This sets a precedent that adds an extra dimension to the art event that will grow and develop throughout the screenings.

Marhaug describes his work as a ‘post-capitalist-science-fiction-noise film’. It is so far a decent genre description, but I experience in a way the work as more ordinary than that, at least visually. We are in a world that is preferably in black and white. We see images and fragments of forest and nature against hard building structures and remains and traces of man-made objects. Garbage, a sneaker, a sofa, an animal foot. The totality appears raw, wet, cool and hard, not only visually, but also acoustically. Occasionally, the film material is contrasted by abstract images, such as massively pulsating black spots, close together against a white background.

A mass bombardment that challenges the senses
Each projected movie sequence apparently has its own and ever-changing soundtrack. This constantly creates new and different layer-on-layer effects. The soundscape gives, among other things, associations to machine repetitions and massive metal grinders against crackling and crackling in various qualities, auditory textures that for a few moments remind me of the feeling of stinging icy rain or penetrating intense wheezing in the ears. Suddenly, small interruptions occur with the absence of noise before new images and sounds are fired at us like projectiles. It is a mass bombardment that challenges the senses and the distinction between impression and disturbance. Finally, I’m not sure if I actually hear sampled cries, the noise of a full room of screaming people, or if it’s just my brain that tricks me into thinking I sense these cries through the noise. I go out filled with a kind of unpleasant dizziness and with aching retinas. The work leaves an eco-deterministic turmoil in me that I need far more than thirty minutes to digest and reset myself from, and this also constitutes my objection to two such different works being put together.

After the break, we are thrown out on a completely different journey. This time, some have lain down on their backs, some close their eyes, some just sit relaxed and sip on the evening’s second or third glass of wine. All four walls are projected close together with flaming candles. The picture is obviously strikingly kitsch, almost ironic. Gradually we can hear sounds reminiscent of a crowd of stomping boot steps mixed with an indefinable hiss from insects and crickets, and a diffuse hum from distant, manipulated choruses. It is difficult to interpret and place the soundscape, and I also do not have time to get very far before the whole room is almost sucked through a kind of visual tunnel. The bass makes the floor below us vibrate, and we are pulled at breakneck speed through countless projected doors. This estimate reinforces the illusion of being in a simulator. It is as if a virtual wind has suddenly blown us away and we are suddenly sitting on a flying carpet, traveling through the artist’s subconscious, where playful pop cultural references are replaced by nightmarish and disturbing images. The audience looks in all possible directions as if to orientate themselves in constantly new places.

As if David Lynch were to take ayahuasca in the desert
The editing technique is extremely good, and the dramaturgy has a kind of kaleidoscopic associative form at the same time as each picture is just so easy to interpret that you can get caught in a new hook that throws you in the head. new associations before being torn loose and thrown into the next. This is as if David Lynch had taken ayahuasca in the desert and made a film of what he hallucinated afterwards. We are constantly somewhere between dream and nightmare, for example when we see Julie Andrews dancing carefree between tree trunks while war helicopters thunder across the sky while the world goes up in flames and explodes around her. We see prairie pictures with saguaro cacti and hear the sound of unpleasant radio signals. The chimney sweep from Singing in the Rain disappears into animated pipes, we see oil barrels burning and growing nebulae, barely hearing the sound of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both sides now’, glimpsing the globe from space (or is it a disco ball?), being drawn to the sound of lyre boxes and suddenly surrounded by giant funfair horses.

In the popular cultural references, a darker contemporary commentary is hidden. Most of the references are from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and in contrast to beautiful images of the universe’s darkness, celestial bodies and galaxy fog, an experience is created that time flows through space and pulls us through the cosmos at relentless speed. The work opens the gaze to the paradoxical and random of our popular cultural history, the powerless and merciless in that we have created what we have created, and nothing else.

The work also makes me philosophize about what can be called a performance. There are no actors or actors here, but I experience in return that we audiences become part of it. At one point a man rushes out of the room, a woman overturns a bottle, some get up from their chairs and walk around smiling or looking. None of this bothers me as it would in many other contexts. At one point there is one who laughs, and after this it is as if something in the room dissolves, the reactions become freer and more expressive. People respond and come up with small exclamations. The work would therefore not have been the same if I experienced it alone, and then maybe it’s a performance anyway?

In sum, I still think the two parts of tonight’s double ticket should have been shown separately. They are both so strong and intense works that they leave different resonances and reflections it would have been nice to have time to dwell on separately.

The Wire: Music By Any Means at Somerset House

A series of three talks programmed by The Wire magazine looking at different strategies and systems for making music and organising sound. 

Wed 20 October 2021 | 18.45 – 20.30 | In person £8
Lancaster Rooms, New Wing & Online
An in person event from Somerset House. If you are unable to join us on the evening, a recording will be archived and available to view via a ticketed link. 

https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/vicki-bennett-opening-doors

This in person event will also be streamed live from Somerset House. If you are unable to join us on the evening, a recording will be archived and available to view via a ticketed link.  Music By Any Means has been designed to show how anything can become music, from objects to actions, archives to rituals, and how anyone can make it, regardless of any previous musical experience or ability. In the process of demystifying the processes of sound organisation and music making, the series will illuminate other ways of being in the world through sound, bypassing existing orthodoxies to enable and empower new creative activity.  
 
The talks, which will include demonstrations and performances, will be presented by O YAMA O (Rie Nakajima and Keiko Yamamoto), People Like Us (Vicki Bennett), and Elaine Mitchener; all artists who use aspects of film, theatre, performance, visual art and other practices to inform and develop new and distinctive approaches to making music and organising sound.  Music By Any Means will be available to audiences both onsite and online, with each event broadcast live from Somerset House Studios. 

Vicki Bennett explores the processes of making audiovisual content, working with archives and found footage.

Using collage as a compositional tool opens up endless opportunities to create and experience results that are more than the sum of their parts, opening doors (and windows) to let light in and move beyond limited and repetitive ways of creative thinking.  

In this talk, Vicki Bennett discusses and demonstrates her creative process making audio-visual content, working with archives and found footage, showing how she sources and organises this material into finished works which break the rectangle, smashing the thin screen into tiny fragments, looking beyond the frame, climbing through to see what’s behind. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session. 

Print edition for sale

We are now selling limited edition prints through bandcamp:
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/merch

We have some prints that we made for our 2011 solo show The Doors of Perspection – each was made in an edition of just one, and we are selling them.  We have six different ones that we will gradually put up.

One sold earlier, here are the second two that we’ve just put up, more being added:

https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/merch/edition-of-one-streetwalking-2011-c-type-print-on-dibond-large-artist-print AVAILABLE

https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/merch/edition-of-one-in-retrospect-2011-c-type-print-on-dibond-very-large-artist-print AVAILABLE